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Prince Philip Memorial service from Westminster Abbey


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I thought the music at today’s memorial service was something of a triumph.  James O’Donnell took the hymns at quite a fast tempo, but succeeded, considering the Abbey’s acoustic and the huge numbers present, and his arrangements and Peter Holder’s accompaniments were very impressive.  It seems that for once a fair number of the congregation were singing!  The boy soloist in the Britten Te Deum was outstanding.  Huw Edwards’ presentation for the BBC followed the current format of (to my mind) excessive introductions, but possibly that is necessary to explain what is happening to today’s largely secular society.  But, in fairness, it was a model of how it should be done during the service itself with minimal ‘talking over’.  
 

A very worthy commemoration, I felt, with splendid music.

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Yes, well said, Rowland - I agree. I also enjoyed hearing wisps of the Stanford Benedictus (Sonata Eroica) wafting through the busyness of things before the service. Happy memories of hearing Garth Benson play this 50 years ago and of his recording of it from St Mary Redcliffe. 

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A very impressive service all round, although I thought the hymns were taken at a very deliberate pace rather than 'quite a fast tempo'.  They held together very well - I'm often slightly startled at how fast the hymns are taken at the annual RBL Remembrance Service at the RAH, but again they hold together well.
 

 

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